“Bridges” began as the idea of two UBC professors in 1976 when Michael Seelig (Urban Planning) and Nathan “Tuzzie” Divinsky (Math) began tossing around the idea of starting a small neighborhood pub in Vancouver. They were joined in their partnership by local industrialist Abe Sacks, who brought with him the necessary business acumen to make a project of this size work. Later hotel operator Manny Glasser joined the group.
As a city planner, Seelig was familiar with the proposed renewal of a derelict industrial area known as Granville Island. He was also aware that a pub on Granville Island would meet with no objections from neighbours, as there simply were none. The two professors concluded that the Island, a federally owned area, would be the ideal location for their new idea.
Construction of Bridges began in January 1980 with Metro Construction as builders. The existing building was structurally unsound, so in order to preserve it all trusses were dismantled, repaired and returned to their original position with reinforcement. Taking advantage of the building’s height and volume, a second floor was added. The restaurant concept and interior designer David Vance joined the team and played a crucial role in creating Bridges. George Frankel joined the team as an investor and General Manager.
In 1984, Peter Horwood joined as Bridges General Manager and CEO. He continues in this role to date. Under Peter’s management Bridges expanded the building to the east, creating a new entrance and a boutique for Bridges-designed clothing (1985). The Bistro had a complete makeover (1990), followed by a redesign of the dining room interior (1991), replacement of the summer dock (1993), redesign of the bar in the Pub (1995) and the construction of a new upper level terrace providing outdoor seating for the dining room (1998). The most recent renovation was a complete redecoration of the Bistro and the creation of the Sugar Bar (2011).
Bridges Pub, with its industrial look reflecting the original nature of Granville Island, started to serve the public at the end of December 1980.
Summer employees return to work year after year, turning summer jobs on the Dock into a sort of summer camp. Fifteen of Bridges current employees have been with the restaurant for over 20 years. Most rewarding of all to the Bridges partnership is the unique family atmosphere among partners, management and employees created over the last 40 years. The partners consider that to be their highest achievement.
DOWNLOAD OUR E-BOOK